Operation Christmas Child

This Christmas, why not brighten the life of a needy child?


Samaritan’s Purse ‘Operation Christmas Child’ project has been delivering shoeboxes full of presents to children all over the world since 1990. More than 113 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have benefited from this wonderful programme.

To participate, follow these simple steps:

  1. Wrap a shoebox and its lid separately.
  2. Decide if your gift is for a boy or a girl and select an age category (2-4, 5-9 or 10-14). Print the appropriate label by clicking here. Mark the correct age category and affix the label to the top of your shoebox.
  3. And now for the fun part: Fill your box with a variety of new gifts! Gifts may include toys (items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy trucks, stuffed animals (with CE label), harmonicas, yo-yos, skipping ropes, balls, small puzzles etc.); school supplies (pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons or felt pens, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or notebooks and paper, solar calculators, colouring and picture books etc.; Hygiene items (toothbrush and toothpaste, bar of wrapped soap, comb or hairbrush, flannel; or other miscellaneous items (hat, cap, gloves or scarf, sunglasses, hair accessories, jewellery set, wind up torch, wrapped sweets with a sell-by date must be at least March of the following year). You can also enclose a note or greetings card to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. Do not include used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, play soldiers or knives; chocolate or other food items; liquids or lotions of any type including bubbles; medicines; hand made or knitted stuffed toys; anything of a political, racial or religious nature; marbles or sharp objects; glass containers, mirrors or fragile items; or clothing, other than as listed above.
  4. Please include a £3 donation per shoebox to cover the cost of UK transportation and overseas shipping. You can either make your donation online by clicking here (scroll down to where it says Operation Christmas Child), or else you can write a cheque made payable to Samaritan’s Purse and put it in an envelope inside your shoebox, then secure the box with an elastic band. If you make more than one shoebox, just write one cheque to cover all your shoebox donations and put it inside one of the boxes.


Completed shoeboxes may be taken to designated drop-off point between 1 November and 18 November. The list of drop-off points will be listed on the Samaritan’s Purse website after 1 October.

For more information, you can see a full explanatory leaflet here.

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